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Is Canelo Alvarez making a mistake suing DAZN and Golden Boy?

Canelo Alvarez

By Sean Jones: Canelo Alvarez is suing his promoter Oscar De La Hoya, Golden Boy, and DAZN over his contract problems. The highly popular Alvarez wants out of his contract with DAZN and Golden Boy and is looking to get $280 million in damages.

Canelo wanted Golden Boy to find him an opponent and a different broadcast situation for 2020, but it hasn’t happened. To get the kind of money that Canelo has been making, it would have required Golden Boy to move mountains.

If Golden Boy had picked someone with talent like Artur Beterbiev, DAZN might have given the green light for him as Canelo’s opponent. Not selecting the right opponents for Canelo likely contributed to the problems he’s having.

Canelo was doing well with DAZN

With the money Canelo has been getting from DAZN, he’s had a good thing going. He hasn’t fought anyone risky in his first three fights with DAZN, and he’s been paid top dollar without having to risk his neck.

Assuming Canelo signs with another promoter, would he make $17 million to fight guys like Billy Joe Saunders or Callum Smith? It isn’t very likely. If you put those fights on PPV, it could be a disaster.

Canelo Alvarez

Look at Top Rank. They’re putting Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez on regular ESPN, and that’s a fight that is worlds better than three contests that Canelo has had with DAZN since 2018.

If Lomachenko-Lopez wasn’t considered a big enough one to sell on PPV, then what can you say about Canelo facing Saunders, Smith, or Avni Yildirim?

Maybe there would be a promoter that would want to give Canelo a huge guaranteed amount to fight one of those guys, but it might be a one and done deal. If the promoter loses massive money, it’s hard to picture them wanting to continue to match Alvarez against those types of fighters on PPV.

“I’m the pound for pound number one in the world. I’m not scared of any opponent in the ring, and I’m not going to let failures of my broadcaster or promoters keep me out of the ring,” Canelo Alvarez said in a statement.

“I filed the lawsuit so I can get back to boxing and give my fans the show they deserve.”

Was DAZN losing money on Alvarez’s fights?

DAZN hasn’t said whether they lost money on Canelo’s three fights with them against the non-popular fighters he picked. They were obviously hoping Canelo would jump straight into a trilogy match with Gennady Golovkin after they inked him in 2018.

It’s baffling why Canelo didn’t face Golovkin already. Canelo had to know that DAZN wanted him to fight GGG, so why didn’t he do it? He’s been with DAZN for two years now, and you think he would have already done that.

If Canelo is released from his contract with DAZN, he might not be able to make anywhere near the $35 million per fight that they were paying him.

To even get $20 million, it would require that Canelo fight on pay-per-view, and he would need to face guys that would sell.

That probably means that more comfortable options like Avni Yildirim, Billy Joe Saunders, and Callum Smith would be out. Those wouldn’t be big enough names for Canelo to fight on pay-per-view and bring in significant numbers. Canelo wouldn’t be able to make $20 million fighting one of the guys mentioned above.

Even in a good economy in the U.S, Canelo fighting the likes of Yildirim, Saunders, and Smith would be poison in terms of PPV buys. The fans aren’t dumb. They know a mismatch when they see one, and they’ve just seen Canelo take three sure-thing fights against Jacobs, Kovalev, and Fielding.

The opposition wasn’t good enough

Fans want to see Canelo fight opposition that can potentially beat him, and those guys aren’t it. In other words, fans want drama when they watch Canelo fight, but they haven’t been getting that since his second fight against Golovkin in 2018.

There’s only a handful of fighters that Canelo could fight on pay-per-view that would bring him in $20 million, and that’s guys that he might not be eager to fight. We’re talking about this murderer’s row:

  • Gennady Golovkin
  • Jermall Charlo
  • Caleb Plant
  • David Benavidez
  • Dmitry Bivol
  • Artur Beterbiev

Canelo signed an 11-fight, $365 million contract with DAZN two years ago in 2018, and he’s fought three times thus far.

Canelo Alvarez

Some believe that DAZN made a mistake in giving Alvarez such a big contract, paying him $35 million per fight, which is a vast amount of money. DAZN likely thought that Canelo would face Gennadiy Golovkin almost immediately after they signed him, and that would have been a boost to their platform.

Given how tough Golovkin had proven to be for Canelo in their two fights, it’s not a shock that he took the easier route in his first three contests with DAZN. Instead of giving the streaming giant a fight against Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs), Canelo fought these fighters:

  • Rocky Fielding
  • Daniel Jacobs
  • Sergey Kovalev

Can Alvarez make better money outside of DAZN?

Oscar De La Hoya helped turn Canelo into a star in the U.S, and now he’s part of the lawsuit as well. It’s got to be tough for him. He helped make Canelo what he is today, and this is what happens.

After the pandemic ends, Canelo may find out that he was better off where he was at with DAZN. If Canelo had done things differently from the very start of his contract, would he have had these problems?

Instead of Canelo choosing to take easier fights against Fielding, Jacobs and Kovalev, would his situation have been different if he’d fought Golovkin in late 2018, and then another time ni 2019?

Canelo would have been giving DAZN not only one fight against Golovkin but two. Also, rather than Canelo moving up to 175 to face Kovalev, how about if he had chosen to meet IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev?

Had Canelo fought Golovkin twice and Beterbiev once, he would have given DAZN three great fights up to this point. They would have been getting real value for their money with those three contests, and DAZN would likely have brought in a massive amount of subscribers.

What if things had been different?

If Canelo could go back into a time machine and change his opponent’s selection by targeting guys that the boxing public wanted to see him fight, it’s possible that things with DAZN would be far different. Who knows?

The pandemic has changed a lot of things, grinding boxing to a halt this year in terms of competitive fights. Top Rank seems to be doing things the right way in the U.S by making great fights between Lomachenko and Teofimo and Jose Ramirez against Viktor Postol.

For it to work well for Canelo and DAZN, he needed to be facing elite level guys that would bring in subscribers. He hasn’t been doing that, and he wouldn’t be doing that by facing Saunders, Yildirim, or Callum Smith.

Canelo Alvarez

Right now, the pandemic is still going on, and the best way for DAZN to bring back their subscribers is for Canelo to fight guys that the fans want to see. In other words, Canelo can’t be fighting old guys on their last legs, and he can’t be fighting paper champions that fans aren’t excited about seeing.

A lot of bad fights

DAZN has made some questionable moves beside the Canelo situation. They signed Golovkin, and then he turns around and is taking a cushy job against Steve Rolls. Why did DAZN agree to show that fight? Then there’s Demetrius Andrade, who had an easy mismatch against Luke Keeler.

Danny Jacobs is another one with him fighting Julio Cesar Chavez Jr on DAZN. Someone should have given DAZN a heads up to let them know that showing Jacobs vs. Chavez Jr would be a bad idea. In a recent interview, Jacobs was talking about wanting to fight Gabriel Rosado. That would be even worse than a fight against Chavez Jr. Will DAZN agree to Jacobs-Rosado?

 


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